2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

On 17 May 2017, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a decision to announce 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The ideals, principles and values embedded in Europe’s cultural heritage constitute a shared source of remembrance, understanding, identity, dialogue, cohesion and creativity for Europe, and the European Union, respecting its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, ensures that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.

The purpose of the European Year shall be to encourage the sharing and appreciation of Europe's cultural heritage as a shared resource, to raise awareness of common history and values, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space.

The European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to contribute to promoting the role of Europe’s cultural heritage as a pivotal component of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue (conservation, safeguarding, accessibility of cultural heritage, education, promotion of social inclusion and integration); to enhance the contribution of Europe’s cultural heritage to society and the economy, innovation based on cultural heritage, sustainable development and tourism, social cohesion and long-term employment; to contribute to promoting cultural heritage as an important element of the relations between the European Union and third countries, building on Europe’s expertise in cultural heritage.

Celebrating the EYCH2018 in Lithuania

The main goal is to promote the integral concept of the Centenary of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania and the modernization of Europe through our common cultural heritage.

This goal also creates necessary synergies with Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 programme and Kaunas modernism architecture inscribed on the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2017.

A framework for the EYCH has been established and it consists of:

  • A communication campaign including use of media and social media;
  • An international scientific conference on modernism architecture with parallel forum on development of the International Network of Modernist Cities in Europe;
  • Annual cultural initiatives, such as the European Heritage Days, the European Night of Museums, the Culture Night,  the Route of Museums and others, focusing on the European cultural heritage with a specific focus on modernization;
  • Educational activities and special tours, raising awareness of cultural heritage values.

Events and initiatives related to the EYCH 2018 in Lithuania

Launching event at the International Vilnius Book Fair (23 of February 2018 in Vilnius)

The European Night of Museums Topic “Modernizing Lithuania" (May 2018 in Lithuania)

The Road of Museums in Lithuania “Signs of the Independence” (May-September 2018 in Lithuania)

Culture Night dedicated to heritage (15-16 of June in Vilnius)

International Scientific Conference dedicated to Kaunas modern architecture (12-14 of September 2018 in Kaunas)

International Forum dedicated to disscuss the possibility of setting up a network of cities in Europe known for the modernism architecture (related to the Scientific Conference, 11 of September 2018 in Kaunas)

International Summer School for heritage students “Modernism Architecture in Kaunas” (indicative title) (Q4 of 2018 in Kaunas)

International archival exhibition dedicated to the end of the First World War (Q4 of 2018 in Kaunas)

Special tours in Kaunas "Signs of Modernizing Lithuania” (2017-2018 in Kaunas)

Special tours "Signs of Modernism in Lithuania” (2017-2018 in Lithuania)

The concept of the EYCH2018 in Lithuania

The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in Lithuania will encourage an integral understanding of the country celebrating the centenary of its restoration of statehood and the common cultural heritage of Europe and, with a special focus being given to the signs of modernisation in Lithuania, especially to modernist architecture, a testament to the drive and optimism of Europe at the time. In the European Year of Cultural Heritage, consideration will be given to a new stage in the history of the state as an inextricable part of events and processes on the whole continent, when universal ideas have become a stimulus to create a new local spirit. Modernist architecture for Lithuania was a qualitative leap to which the architecture of the period and local identity were connected.

Keywords: restoration of statehood, modernist architecture, part of European processes

The European Year of Cultural Heritage in Lithuania will encourage the identification and evaluation not only of modernist architectural monuments of exceptional aesthetical or political value but also buildings used for everyday purposes in Lithuania. Schools, post offices, clinics and hospitals, thousands of residential houses – all these objects in Kaunas and across Lithuania reveal the same history - the restoration of Independence - from various angles. Cultural heritage encompasses not only significant monuments, buildings or interiors, but also historical knowledge, the whole panoply of meanings and emotions being created today, as well as expectations for the future by people living in the here and now. Therefore, one of the most important goals of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is to perceive a deeper meaning in the spaces next to us.

Keywords: cultural heritage surrounding us, cultural heritage interpretations today, stories of people

The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in Lithuania will encourage a culture-based holistic approach into how living environments are collectively created and the heritage that is left behind. The living environment, a contemporary or cultural heritage object, public spaces, infrastructure and landscape form an integrated whole, the quality of which depends not only on functional, technical and economic requirements, but also on the people living and working in this environment, their social and mental needs. A high-quality living environment encourages people to identify themselves with the place they live in and provides the conditions for vibrant communities to flourish, as well as for the development of an inclusive and cohesive society.

Keywords: integrated approach to the living environment, quality of the living environment, cohesive society

Decision (EU) 2017/864 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 on a European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018)

The official website for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018


Last updated: 24-02-2021